ISLAMABAD  -   Iran’s Hamidreza Nadaf made a huge upset in the $15,000 4th Benazir Bhutto Shaheed ITF Futures (F-3) Championships 2018 as he hammered fourth seed Lorenzo Bocchi 2-1 in the first quarterfinal played here at Islamabad Tennis Complex on Thursday.

All the other top seeds made it to the semifinals after defeating their respective opponents in the quarterfinals. In the first quarterfinal, Iran’s 7th seed Hamidreza Nadaf stunned 4th seed Italian Lorenzo Bocchi 2-1 in the match of the day. Nadaf won the first set 7-6(4) on tie-break and lost second set 2-6, before bouncing back to win third 7-5.

In the other matches, Niklas Saida’lo Saidkarimov (UZB) beat Shamael Chaudhry (GBR) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2; Kai Wehnhelt (GER) beat Alexis Canter (GBR) 7-5, 7-5 and Rio Noguchi (JPN) beat Ray Ho (TPE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. In the men’s doubles semifinals, top seed pair of Anton Chekhov (RUS)/Kai Wehnelt (GER) beat Ti Chen (TPE)/Ray Ho (TPE) 7-5, 7-6 (6); Ken Onishi (JPN)/Rio Noguchi (JPN) made huge upset as they beat second seeds Alexander Pavlioutchenkov (RUS)/Vladimir Polyakov 6-4, 6-2.

In Benazir Bhutto Shaheed National Ranking Tennis Tournament 2018 played at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Complex on Thursday, Pakistan’s lone international player Ushna Suhail hammered Pakistan No 1 ladies player Sara Mansoor 6-3, 7-5 while Sarah Mahboob beat Esha Jawad 6-2, 7-5. In boys’ U-18 singles quarterfinals, Shoaib Khan beat Sami Zeb 6-2, 6-2; Ahmed Asjad beat Nalain Abbas 1-6, 6-4, 6-3; Ahmed Kamil beat Hamid Israr 6-0, 6-0; Abdullah Adnan beat Musa Choudhry 6-0, 6-2,

In boys singles U-14 semifinals, Hamza Roman beat M Taha Aman 1-6, 6-4, 6-4; Sami Zeb beat Uzair Khan 6-0, 6-0; in boys/girls singles U-10 semi-finals: Ali Zain beat Jamal Shah 1-4, 4-1, 4-1; Hamza Roman beat Haziq Asim 4-0, 4-0.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Senator Taj Haider, Senator Farhatullah Babar and other main PPP leaders thronged the venue in huge numbers, which resulted in huge mismanagement during the event.

No one was expecting such a crowd at the venue as for the last four years, not a single major or even minor PPP leader even bothered to pay visit to the venue to witness such a high-profile event with only exception of Senator Taj Haider or Senator Farhatullah Babar along with Fazle Subhan. The army of PPP workers and leaders tried to occupy a few available seats and were trying to remain close to Bilawal, which forced the ITF representative to intervene and request political workers to let the doubles match continue.

It was complete hush-up, as security personnel of Bilawal were also trying their level best not to let even sports journalists come closer to Bilawal. Despite making promise that Bilawal will talk to sports journalists, a few political questions were floated and that too through their blue-eyed journalists, which forced them to walk out. After watching three games, Bilawal left the venue.

It was highly surprising that the international event is being held in the name of slain former premier and none of the PPP leadership bothered to attend for few minutes, but just to score points, they came out in huge numbers when Bilawal finally woke up and paid visit to the complex.

Had Senator Taj Haider and Fazle Subhan not remained present at the venue for hours on daily basis, the event could never take place or would have been a huge flop. It is PPP leadership’s moral and national duty to ensure their presence to pay tribute to former prime minister Benazir, which will also send a positive message to huge international presence in the event.